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Thread: A Contemporary Music Repertoire (a work in progress)

  1. #76
    Senior Member Trout's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Pickett View Post
    I've probably missed something significant here, but is there any reason why Olivier Messiaen doesn't get a mention?
    My general guideline for inclusion is that a composer must have a substantial part of his body of work composed since about 1975. While I love Messiaen and acknowledge he did create quite a few late masterpieces, there are only 3 or 4 significant works since the 70s I would include, with the center-of-gravity of his oeuvre being in the 40s.

    If I ever expanded this into a post-WWII repertoire, then he would absolutely be one of the first names I would add.

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    Senior Member CnC Bartok's Avatar
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    Fair enough....Unfortunately that means Messiaen gets penalised for "wasting all that time" on St Francis (1975-83)

    By his dates, he's just a bit older than the likes of Lutoslawski (who definitely deserves inclusion). And Olivier for me always "feels" modern/contemporary.

    You are being pelted with suggestions for inclusion, it comes with the territory (!) but this is a really sensible project you've got here. Am I allowed to suggest including my favourite just-deceased composer, Veljo Tormis, and my favourite recently-deceased Czech composer Petr Eben? Neither are cutting edge, but both produced very fine music...

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    Umm Peter Eotvos ... he belongs, too.

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    Guys, this is a work in progress!

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    ^^ A very valuable one, too. I thought we were being asked for suggestions. I definitely do not intend any criticism with any of my suggestions.
    Last edited by Enthusiast; Jan-15-2019 at 18:12.

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    Two of my favorite composers that wrote in idioms which could not be more different:

    Rautavaara, Einojuhani (1928-2016; Finnish)

    - A Requiem in Our Time, op. 3 (1953)
    - Kaivos, op. 15 [opera] (1957-60, rev. 1962)
    - Symphony No. 3, op. 20 (1961) **
    - Symphony No. 4 "Arabescata" (1962)
    - Cello Concerto No. 1, op. 41 (1968) **
    - Etydit, op. 42 [piano] (1969) **
    - Piano Concerto No. 1, op. 45 (1969) ***
    - Pano Sonata No. 2, op. 64 "The Fire Sermon" (1970)
    - Vigilia [solists & chorus] (1971-72, rev. 1996) **
    - Cantus arcticus, op. 61 [concerto for taped birdsong & orch.] (1972) ***
    - Flute Concerto, op. 63 "Dances with the Winds" (1975) **
    - Organ Concerto "Annunciations" (1976–77)
    - Violin Concerto (1976-77) **
    - Angels and Visitations [orch.] (1978) **
    - Double Bass Concerto "Angel of Dusk" (1980, rev. 1993)
    - Thomas [opera] (1982-85) **
    - Symphony No. 5 (1985-86) ***
    - Vincent [opera] (1986-87) **
    - Piano Concerto No. 2 (1989) **
    - Auringon talo [chamber opera] (1990)
    - Symphony No. 6 "Vincentiana" [based on Vincent] (1992) ***
    - Tietäjien lahja [chamber opera] (1993-94)
    - Symphony No. 7 "Angel of Light" (1994) ***
    - Aleksis Kivi [opera] (1995-96)
    - On the Last Frontier [fantasy for chorus & orch.] (1997)
    - Piano Concerto No. 3 "Gift of Dreams" (1998)
    - Autumn Gardens [orch.] (1999)
    - Symphony No. 8 "The Journey" (1999) **
    - Percussion Concerto "Incantations" (2008)
    - Cello Concerto No. 2 "Towards the Horizon" (2008-09)

    Rădulescu, Horațiu (1942-2008; Romanian-French)

    - Credo, op. 10 [9 cellos] (1969, rev. 1976)
    - Das Andere, op. 49 [cello/viola] (1984) **
    - String Quartet No. 4, op. 33 "infinite to be cannot be infinite, infinite anti-be could be infinite" [9 string quartets / string quartet surrounded by an imaginary viola da gamba with 128 strings] (1976-87) ***
    - Intimate Rituals, op. 63 [viola & sound icon] (1985-87) **
    - Byzantine Prayer, op. 74 [40 flautists with 72 flutes] (1988) **
    - String Quartet No. 5, op. 89 "before the universe was born" (1990-95) **
    - Piano Concerto, op. 90 "The Quest" (1996) **

    (I hope I'm not inundating you with these lists I'm making. Feel free to update the site at your own pace.)
    Last edited by Portamento; Jan-18-2019 at 05:45.

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    Senior Member Trout's Avatar
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    Not at all! That's actually perfect timing as they were the next two composers I was planning to cover.

    Now that the holiday season is over, I will be quite a bit busier and so new entries will be a lot less frequent. But still, comments and suggestions are always welcome!

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    Another great addition to the list would be Christophe Bertrand, a promising student of Boulez and Dusapin who passed away much too early. Listening to Vertigo, I can immediately spot not only the influences of his decorated teachers but also those of the spectral school and Ligeti (whose Kammerkonzert was the impetus for Bertrand's exploration of modern classical music). What a loss.

    Bertrand, Christophe (1981-2010; French)

    - Treis (2000) [violin, cello & piano]
    - Yet (2002) [20 musicians]
    - Mana (2004-05) [orch.] **
    - Vertigo (2006-07) [2 pianos & orch.] **
    - Scales (2008-09) [large ensemble]

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    marc bollansee
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    my blogspot lists all the major works by bertrand including sq 1-2 by the arditti qt

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    Senior Member Trout's Avatar
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    After a bit of a hiatus, here's the entry for Rautavaara. He's a composer that still eludes me as I tend to find his music rather forgettable. I hope to remedy that however by trying some pieces here that are new to me.

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    Senior Member science's Avatar
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    Wow, dude, that's pretty awesome. Well done!
    Liberty for wolves is death to the lambs.

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    I wonder how far away Ustvolskaya's three "Compositions" are from getting some asterisks?

    Here is a recent, disinterested (~third party) recommendation, in case it helps!

    Quote Originally Posted by NLAdriaan View Post
    You might try the Russian composer Galina Ustvolskaya, nicknamed "the woman with the hammer". She composed some very dynamic and confronting music. Unsettling maybe, but also moving.

    If you listen to Composition I, II, III as recorded by Schonberg Ensemble and Reinbert de Leeuw on Spotify, you might find what you are looking for or take it from there.

    A YT link to only one piece of this CD:
    https://youtu.be/F6gzow7H1Fc
    Liberty for wolves is death to the lambs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by science View Post
    I wonder how far away Ustvolskaya's three "Compositions" are from getting some asterisks?

    Here is a recent, disinterested (~third party) recommendation, in case it helps!
    Nos. 1 and 3 still have a ways to go, but No. 2 was fairly borderline. With that post and a little bit more researching, I decided to bump it up.
    Last edited by Trout; Mar-26-2019 at 06:54.

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    The Rautavaara and Reich (is that one new?) lists look great.

    Yet another pointless little qualm, but the Davies list is missing opus numbers. These would be:

    - Sinfonia, op. 20 (1962)
    - Taverner, op. 45 [opera] (1962-8, rev. 1970)
    - Eight Songs for a Mad King, op. 39 [male voice & instr. ensemble] (1969) ⋆⋆⋆
    - St. Thomas Wake, op. 37 [foxtrot for orch. on a pavan by John Bull] (1969)
    - Vesalii Icones, op. 42 [music-theatre work for dancer, solo cello & instrumental ensemble] (1969)
    - Worldes Blis, op. 38 [orch.] (1969) ⋆⋆
    - Hymn to St. Magnus, op. 53 [instr. ensemble with mezzo-soprano obbligato] (1972)
    - Ave Maris Stella, op. 63 [instr. ensemble] (1975) ⋆⋆
    - Symphony No. 1, op. 71 (1976) ⋆⋆
    - A Mirror of Whitening Light, op. 75 [orch.] (1976-77)
    - Westerlings, op. 73a [4 songs and a prayer, with seascapes for SATB chorus] (1977)
    - The Lighthouse, op. 86 [chamber opera in 1 act with prologue] (1979) ⋆⋆
    - Symphony No. 2, op. 91 (1980)
    - Farewell to Stromness, op. 89/1 [piano interlude from The Yellow Cake Revue] (1980) ⋆⋆
    - Image, Reflection, Shadow, op. 105 [instr. ensemble] (1982)
    - Sinfonia Concertante, op. 106 [wind quintet & orch.] (1982)
    - Symphony No. 3, op. 119 (1984)
    - An Orkney Wedding, with Sunrise, op. 120a [orch.] (1985) ⋆⋆
    - Trumpet Concerto, op. 132 (1988)
    - Strathclyde Concerto No. 2, op. 131 [cello & orch.] (1988)
    - Strathclyde Concerto No. 4, op. 143 [clarinet & orch.] (1990)
    - Strathclyde Concerto No. 7, op. 156 [double bass & orch.] (1992)
    - A Spell for Green Corn: The MacDonald Dances, op. 161 [violin & orch.] (1993)
    - Strathclyde Concerto No. 8, op. 159 [bassoon & orch.] (1993)
    - Strathclyde Concerto No. 9, op. 170 [6 woodwind instrs. & string orch.] (1994)
    - Carolísima, op. 168 [serenade for chamber orch.] (1994)
    - Symphony No. 5, op. 166 (1994)
    - Symphony No. 6, op. 176 (1996)
    - Job, op. 183 [oratorio for SATB Soli, SATB chorus & orch.] (1997)
    - Mavis in Las Vegas, op. 184 [theme & variations for orch.] (1997)
    - Piano Concerto, op. 188 (1997)
    - Symphony No. 7, op. 211 (2000)
    - Symphony No. 8, op. 215 "Antarctic" (2001)
    - Naxos Quartets, opp. 229, 234, 236, 245, 253, 257, 265, 268, 275, 283 [10 pieces for string quartet] (2002-07)
    - Symphony No. 10, op. 327 "Alla ricerca di Borromini" (2013)

    Davies didn't assign these numbers himself, but commissioned a group of musicologists to do so late in life.
    Last edited by Portamento; Mar-26-2019 at 23:03.

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  26. #90
    Senior Member Trout's Avatar
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    The opus numbers have been added in. Thanks for that, Portamento.

    And yes the Steve Reich entry is new. (I planned to announce it here if/when the thread needed to be bumped, but glad I don't have to!) He is one of the original masters of American minimalism and one of my favorite composers. It is still one of my lifelong goals to hear Music for 18 Musicians live, but for now I'll have to settle for the many excellent recorded versions. His early phasing works are also more than just interesting conceptual experiments, as I'd argue they are just as compelling musically. His "middle-period" works to have a fascinating, unique blend of Eastern gamelan and Renaissance polyphony. I am not very enthusiastic about his work since the 2000s, but that could just be because of my sky-high expectations and the inevitable narrative of "becoming softer" that forms around his work. But who knows, perhaps I would be championing them if they were the work of some up-and-coming youngster.

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